As Jesus faces the crowds, there are those that believe and those that refuse his words. Jesus uses an example they would all be familiar with and talks about the response of sheep to their shepherd. He says in John 10:4 “the sheep follow him because they know his voice” and those that don’t follow are not his sheep. But then Jesus says in John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and will go out and will find pasture”. This is an unexpected way to think about the shepherd but Jesus is the way, the entrance into the kingdom of God. He explains further in John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own, and my own know me”. And while Jesus had been saying, for example in Matthew 15:24 “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”, he now opens the way for all who believe by saying in John 10:16 “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd”.
Do You Believe in the Son of Man?
I Am the Door of the Sheep
I Am the Good Shepherd
Sheep were one of the main animals used by the Jewish people for their sacrifices and for their food. Jesus had just healed the man blind from birth and had talked with him afterward in the temple courts. Then, seeking to justify themselves in
John 9:40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things and said to him, “We are not also blind, are we?”
as these Pharisees claimed not just natural sight but understanding, and they are resisting his words, now Jesus speaks to them about sheep. He uses this because they all would have seen this behavior in sheep. He says in
John 10:4 Whenever he sends out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Shepherds do use sheepdogs because there are always a few stragglers, but when the shepherd is ready to move, he calls the sheep and leads the way. And if you have ever seen a good shepherd at work, he will put the sheep in a place of protection overnight to keep them from the wolves. So it is when the sheep are in this place of protection that Jesus then describes the thief and robber who are trying to sneak past the shepherd in
John 10:1 “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter through the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up at some other place—that one is a thief and a robber.
and then Jesus describes the good shepherd in
John 10:2 But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Then Jesus makes a statement that is difficult for them. He says he is the door and though he doesn’t say it directly here, Jesus is the door into God’s kingdom in
John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
Jesus declares himself as the door of salvation in
John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and will go out and will find pasture.
Later, Jesus role is described more fully in
Hebrews 10:19–20 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence for the entrance into the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, his flesh,
then it says, “let us approach” in Hebrews 10:22. Now Jesus says his sheep know him in
John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own, and my own know me,
but these leaders that claim to have God’s plan for people, these Pharisees who have been resisting his words, they are described as the hired hand in
John 10:12–13 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf approaching and abandons the sheep and runs away—and the wolf seizes them and scatters them—13 because he is a hired hand and he is not concerned about the sheep.
Jesus then makes one more important statement, and this is particularly important because through much of Jesus ministry his focus was on “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” in
Matthew 10:5–6 Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them saying, “Do not go on the road to the Gentiles, and do not enter into a city of the Samaritans, 6 but go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
and he himself, first turned away this Canaanite woman in
Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
but now, Jesus opens his arms to others in
John 10:16 And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd.
and at the end of his ministry, he tells his disciples in
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
If You Are The Christ, Tell Us Plainly!
Jesus has been teaching and demonstrating miracles of healing and in every other place where he had been and still “the Jews” come to him in
John 10:24 So the Jews surrounded him and began to say to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly!”
What more could Jesus have done? What else could he have said? What other miracles did they need? Jesus says very plainly to them in
John 10:25–26 Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe! The deeds that I do in the name of my Father, these testify about me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep!
It wasn’t that these people had not heard the words and it wasn’t that they had not seen the miracles, it was that they refused to believe, they refused to accept Jesus and by refusing him, they are also refusing God the Father. To come to God, we must accept something about his character and nature as it says in
Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and is a rewarder of those who seek him.
Those who opposed Jesus only had a consciousness of sin, they only knew God as the one in the Holy of Holies where no man could approach. So, when Jesus made this statement in
John 10:30 The Father and I are one.”
they were ready to stone him in
John 10:32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good deeds from the Father. For which one of them are you going to stone me?”
Believe The Deeds
Jesus set in front of his accusers the deeds that he had performed and said to them in
John 10:37–38 If I do not do the deeds of my Father, do not believe me. 38 But if I am doing them, even if you do not believe me, believe the deeds, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.
Even so, with all of the evidence in front of them, “the Jews”, the unbelieving ones, were still in
John 10:39 So they were seeking again to seize him, and he departed out of their hand.
Yet others accepted the work, they saw the deeds and believed in
John 10:41–42 And many came to him and began to say, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true!” 42 And many believed in him there.
The One Whom You Love is Sick
So That You May Believe
- John 10:11–21 I Am the Good Shepherd
- John 10:22–33 If You Are The Christ, Tell Us Plainly!
- John 10:34–42 Believe The Deeds
- John 9:35-41
- John 10:1-42
- John 11:1-16